From Memorial Day Weekend/June
By Brian Liskai
FREMONT, Ohio (June 6, 2004) - The rains have held off enough the past
two weeks to get three shows completed at Fremont Speedway. Following are
some of the tidbits that took place in the pit area:
- Fremont's John Ivy, the 2001 and 2002 410 sprint track champion,
has scored three wins at "The Track That Action Built" this season. In
fact, his worse finish so far is a ninth. Ivy's win this past Saturday
came a on his 35th birthday, a day before his daughter Kelsey's birthday
and a week after his wife Penny's birthday. Saturday's win came on a night
sponsored by his former employer Willie's Sales and Service. In fact, Ivy
has won the sprint feature each time Willie's has been the night's sponsor.
Ivy's domination so far has many teams looking over the sway bar set-up
mechanics Guy Meyers and Scott Ivy have incorporated on the car. Ivy now
has 20 career feature wins at Fremont, moving him into a tie with Paul
Strasser for 18th on the all-time feature win list, just six feature wins
out of 12th on the list (held by Dee Genzman). He is 45 feature wins away
from the top spot held by Art Ball, who, at the age of 65, is once again
racing at Fremont in the dirt truck division.
-Mike Linder, who sits in the top three of the track's 410 sprint points,
pulled double duty on Memorial Day weekend. He drove his sprint car to
a fifth and 11th place showings in the Budweiser Shoot-Out double features
Saturday, then got behind the wheel of Rich Farmer's Coors Light Dirt Truck
on Monday and finished eighth after starting 14th.Farmer's truck is for
sale, as he has moved on to compete in the 305 sprint division this season.
Farmer is a former Rookie of the Year in the truck. This isn't Linder's
first foray into the truck division, as he drove one in the Sandusky County
Fair race two years ago.
- Former dirt truck driver L.J. Connors brought his truck out twice
this season, driving himself the first night and putting Dan Miller in
the second. Connors is trying to sell the racer.
-Fremont's Doug Berryman, who is making a name for himself in ashphalt
racing, having recently finished 13th in the Little 500 sprint car race,
drove Paul Hemrick Jr.'s #44 305 sprint on Monday at Fremont. Berryman
struggled, finishing 13th in one of the B-mains.
-Fremont Speedway's 1963 sprint car champion and former USAC champion
and sprint car official Rollie Beale was at the track on May 29.
-Alvin Roepke, driver of the #99 sprinter, was recently inducted into
the Vanguard Career Center Hall of Fame. The 1982 graduate of Gibsonburg
High School/'Vanguard, trained in the vocational school's graphic arts
program and currently runs his own graphic arts business, Vision Quest,
doing art work and printing clothing, signs and vinyl graphics for race
cars, boats, vehicles, etc.
-Former sprint car driver Matt Linder, son of two-time All Star Champion
Fred Linder, visited Fremont Speedway on May 29. He currently resides in
Atlanta, Georgia, and was in Fremont to help some friends move.
-Norm VanNess, morning meterologist for WNWO Channel 24 News, was at
Fremont on Saturday, May 29. VanNess, who recently moved back to Ohio from
out west, comes from a racing family, as his grandfather used to own the
"Bullwinkle" special #35 sprint car back in the early 1970s. The car was
piloted by many drivers including Jim Roepke, Bill Cicanese and Al Liskai.
VanNess said he will be filling in for "Blizzard Bill" Spencer, the evening
weatherman at the station, the week of June 14, and is close to getting
the news producters to allow a live remote weather broadcast at Fremont
Speedway on Thursday, June 17, when the USAC sprints and midgets run the
second leg of the Buckeye Nationals.
-Former Fremont Speedway announcer Don Radebaugh, the public relations
director for ARCA, made is first visit to the track since leaving as the
public address man in 1995. He was impressed with all the improvements
at the track, and even more impressed with the quality of the racing.
-Fremont Speedwy icon John Auxter, 75, attends the races nearly every
week at Fremont and Attica Raceway Park, helping on the #8s sprint car
driven by Craig Mintz. This past Friday, Mintz picked up his first career
410 sprint feature win at Attica in the make-up race from a May 14 rainout.
Auxter was unable to attend as he was busy planting crops on his Lindsey,
Ohio farm. However, he was listening to the race on 92.1 FM, which is broadcasting
several shows live this year. Auxter, the 1972 Fremont Speedway sprint
car track champion, became so excited during the closing laps of the feature
- which Mintz won by taking the lead with just three laps to go - he drove
his tractor into a ditch. He was seen limping a little around the pit area
at Fremont on Saturday. Auxter said he was cranking the wheel of the tractor
right along with Mintz, so his rows of crops might not be too straight.
-Fremont's Ryan Lowe picked up his first career 305 sprint feature
Saturday at Fremont. His grandfather Earl Lowe, owned sprint cars for many
years in the 1960s and 1970s. Ryan pilots a purple and white #66L, carrying
on his grandfather's number #66 and colors. It was 34 years ago - Memorial
Day weekend - that Earl's sprint car last appeared in Fremont Speedway's
victory lane, with Donnie Miller behind the wheel.
-One of Fremont's scorers, Mary Kramer, and her husband Denny celebrated
their 23rd wedding anniversary at the track this past Saturday.